tv MSNBC Live MSNBC December 30, 2017 5:30am-6:00am PST
good morning. i'm phillip mena here at msnbc world headquarters in new york. here is what we're watching. early arctic cold weather is setting meteorological weather and contribute to go influenza outbreaks. 36 states reported widespread flu activity. those in red and orange report a high number of cases. the outbreak could be worse since many people don't go to the doctor for treatment. two massive lotteries are still up for grabs. tuesday's jackpot will soar to
$343 million. the jackpot for tonight's powerball is worth $384 million. meanwhile, the stock market ended the year on a down note. three major indexes reported the best year since 2013. the dow gained 25% this year. the s&p, 19%. and the nasdaq, a staggering 28%. now back to that cold weather that is gripping much of this country. nbc's anne thompson is in times square. has it gotten any better since we last talked to you last hour? >> reporter: phillip, it's actually gotten colder. the wind has picked up. we are seeing the occasional snow flurry. all in all, people are getting through it. revellers have one more day to get ready to ring in 2018. usually down here it is all about party hats, horns and champagne. this year it has to be about parkas, scarves and hot chocolate. we are expecting what could be one of the coldest new year's
eves on record. this will not be for the faint of heart. the mercury will drop along with the famous ball high above times square, giving a frigid welcome to 2018. as the clock strikes midnight, the temperature could sink to 11 above. so new york city officials say it is crucial to make smart choices. >> please, if you have a medical condition or young kids, this is not the year to be out here. but if you're going to come out, if you're a healthy adult, dress for it. no skinny jeans. no mini skirts. >> reporter: to endure the hours-long weight, dress in layers, wear heavy boots, cover your head and hands and don't drink alcohol. avoid hypothermia when the body's temperature drops dangerously low. the symptoms include shivering, dizziness and.
>> new york has plenty of company. >> this is a different level. >> i'm freezing over here. >> reporter: the northern section of the country is stuck in the arctic blast and adding insult to injury in erie, pennsylvania. more snow adding to the five feet that already fell. >> i'm running out of plays to throw the snow. >> reporter: the coast guard coming to the rescue on st. mary's river in michigan to free two stuck freighters. roads are no better. more than 1,00 spinouts. one driver killed in wisconsin. sioux falls and cedar rapids covered by heavy snow. and niagara falls came to a halt in plunging temperatures. back here in times square, along with all the security you will see tomorrow night, there will be emts patrolling the crowd looking for people suffering from signs of hypothermia. they will move them on out of the pens and take them someplace warm so everyone can start 2018
on a healthy note. phillip? >> we all want that. thank you, ann. now to politics and the battle ground for 2018 is shaping up with multiple new polls showing democrats will start with a decided advantage over republicans. they are averaging a 13-point lead in the polls. that's according to a tally by 538. zelena with sirius xm, joe watkins and rick tyler, msnbc political analyst. thank you, everyone, for joining us. i want to start with you. are we too far out to start taking comfort in these numbers we're seeing? >> i think anything positive in polling at this moment is something that tells us, look, you need to organize and work with the grassroots, with organizations who have had in
skrebl success in the last year most recently in the governors races in virginia. so i think what we are looking to is more women have signed up to run for office. it's really about the organizing. you don't look at a poll and say we have it in the bag and we don't have to do anything. you have to put the boots on the ground and neighbors talking to neighbors so democrats can come away with the house next year or maybe even win back the senate. >> joe is, what are republicans blaming and how do you think that will play into next year's campaign strategies? >> well, i saw it as not having been too together. members of the house, represent members of the house who doesn't support the tax bill. because it didn't necessarily benefit their constituents. it depends on whether or not as a republican you support president trump. and you might support president trump as a republican but then
you might not like he everything that he says or tweets. so there is a lot of disunity i suppose on the republican side depending upon who you are as a member of the house or senate. >> you can say that. rick, democrats will need to flip 24 seats in order to gain control of the house and two to gain control of the season. can they realistically lose control and which seats will they put the most energy into protecting. >> each will want to protect their own house or chamber. i do think the democrats have a chance of picking up the house. history is on their side. the average turnover when the party in power doesn't hold the house is a 32-seat shift. that would certainly put them in the majority. there is also a lot of enthusiasm on the cited of democrats. it's funny, if you're a republican consultant you're happy because there is a lot of money out there. if you're a democratic candidate you're exciting because there is a lot of enthusiasm on the democratic side. i think the republicans will
have to work really hard to keep the house. i think they're safer in the senate. look, it is just two seats. even though they are defending a lot more seats. in the way of election, it's definitely doable. >> zerlina, i want to talk about the polling. 63% of voters said the economy is excellent or good. that is the highest positive rating since they began tracking it back in 2001. part of the republican strategy is to claim responsibility for the state of the economy. so my question is, if the economy holds steady, could it hurt the democrats to use that line of questioning in the attack? >> i definitely think that, you know, president trump has benefited from the obama economy and the increase in the stock market at this point. so, yes, i do think it is a difficult line to walk when you're critical of an administration that has done not very much to contribute to this strong economy but certainly
that is the reality. and so if americans are not feeling pain in the pocketbooks, it is something they will not feel negatively towards the administration. but i think democrats can definitely point to the impact of the tax reform bill on people's health insurance and that will be something that democrats can run and win on. >> joe, that same poll found 51% on of voters disapprove of president trump's handling of the economy. 44% say they do approve. so how do republicans interpret that? >> well, it just depends on what district you're in, what state you're in. republicans have tough races in arizona and nevada. democrats on the senate side, democrats have tough races in missouri and indiana. for republicans, what they will say is of course the economy is growing. the s&p of course is just booming. we have seen numbers for the stock market, which is good. the reality is the labor force
participation rate, even though regular unemployment is low is still 62%, 63%. which means close to 37% of people who can work are not participating in the labor force. there is also a large number of americans underemployed. so they are employed but working without benefits. of and wages are flat as well. all of those things are things republicans have to overcome despite the fact that the economy is moving in the right direction. >> and, rick, i want to turn now to some other numbers going up of a different kind. the price for tickets to mar-a-la mar-a-lago's new year's eve celebration. tickets have gone up to $600 for dues-paying members and $750 for guests. do republicans see these events as helping or hurting president trump? >> look, one thing president trump did when he ran is never tried to hide weighing the.
in fact, i think he exaggerated his wealth. he tphraupbflaunted it. this falls in line with that. >> do you think democrats have any advantage in engaging on this topic? >> they should point out people are paying this much money to hang out around the president of the united states. what are they getting in return for that? they increased the membership fee, doubled them since he came into office. he is very much aware of what's going on in terms of the finances of his businesses even though he told the american people that is not the case. so i think democrats do have a winning argument when they focus on the fact that there could be a conflict of interest in terms of people trying to buy influence in this administration. that is a winning argument, yes. >> joe, i want to talk a little bit about that "new york times" article. you worked for a president before -- not president trump. a whole different story. "washington post" said trump aides were caught unaware that the "new york times" was even
interviewing him. one reason is his freedom at mar-a-lago. do you think it is at all damaging to him? >> no. this is a very, very different white house. the white house in which i worked and the white house in which my daughter worked certainly had i think better communication. staffers knew what the president was doing. they knew what the president's schedule was. there weren't any surprises with interviews with major newspapers or television outlets. you knew what the president was doing every day. and certainly i did when i worked at the white house. this is a very different white house, though. and i wouldn't be surprised if you see more staff departures early next year. that is likely to happen. so stay tuned. >> all right. speaking of stay tuned, we will stick with all three of you. we want your predictions from 2018. that is coming up a little bit later. for now, thank you for your insight in all of this. coming up, my next guest said robert mueller is
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this is my cousin george. discover your story. start searching for free now at ancestry.com this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story. it's an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election. >> the entire thing has been a witch-hunt. and there is no collusion between myself and my campaign. >> president trump last may using the words witch-hunt, words he would later turn into a mantra to describe the possible collusion investigation. my next guest is taking issue with that phrase. he writes for yahoo! news. mueller probe outgrows its witch-hunt phase. michael, thank you so much for joining us this morning. why is the president's i witch-hunt narrative less useful
now? >> by the mere fact of what mueller has already done. he's indicted the president's former campaign manager. paul manafort. manafort's deputy rick gates. he's got plea agreements from michael flynn. and a member of the foreign policy team, george papadopoulos. more importantly, just from everything we know, this investigation is proceeding and if anything expanding, widening its net. there is new evidence coming in in the form of bank records, in the form of thousands of e-mails from the transition. and as i reported this week, mueller's prosecutors have begun questioning members of the republican national committee about the digital operation. none of this necessarily means there's going to be additional criminal charges, but it's a pretty good sign that the investigation is going to be going on for some time.
>> and the president, he did use the word collusion at least 23 times in his 30-minute interview with the "new york times" this week. how much still do you think has to be done on this investigation? he said he's confident there is no collusion. there is still much to be uncovered, right? >> well, look, the president has been told by his lawyers that mueller is going to be winding down the investigation and may even exonerate him in the early months of this year. from everybody i've talked to, that seems highly unlikely if for no other reason that no prosecutor would do that without on getting the full accounts of every possible witness and giving paul manafort the fact that from all accounts he's going to trial and that could drag on likely at least a year if not more. so mueller is not going to wrap
this up any time soon. i think this could well be on a path to a collision course where the president now is holding back. he's saying he's not going to fire mueller. he thinks mueller will be fair to him. if at some point this continues to drag on, the investigation continues and from all indications it will, that's where we could be looking at a real collision where trump begins to question what his own lawyers have been telling him. >> speaking of lawyers, you wrote about jared kushner's lawyer. he was looking to hire a crisis public relations firm. what, if anything, should we read into that? >> hard to know, but that is usually the step one takes when one expects they will be getting a lot of media inquiries. it does suggest that jared kushner will be in the cross-hairs of the mueller investigation. kushner was in charge of the digital operation for the trump campaign. so if that part of the investigation begins to gain
traction, it's almost certain that mueller will want testimony and documents from him about that. >> when it's all said and done, do you think it will matter with whether the fbi started its russia investigation after it got a copy of that steele dossier? >> well, there's still a lot we don't know about how the investigation began. certainly the timing of when the fbi first got the dossier, the dossier being the opposite research document that was commissioned by the clinton campaign, written by the former british spy, they first were informed -- the bureau was first informed about that in early july 2016. it was later that month that the investigation, the counterintelligence investigation by the fbi began. now, what people have not been able to sort out is to what degree the dossier played a role in triggering the investigation. but, look, at the end of the day, it's going to be what the
investigation finally finds here, what the facts were. and i think that will trump the questions about how it began. >> can't get ahead of ourselves when it comes to that. you have these for quite some time. how would you sum up this year that was? >> well, i mean, if you had told me a year ago that sitting here on december 30, 2017, we'd still be talking about russia, that it would have led to a special counsel investigation, that it would be the prime story problem facing the president throughout the first year of this presidency, i would have been surprised. now, much of this is because of the president's own actions, in firing comey in saying he did so because of the russians, all of that led to the appointment of the special counsel. so, in many ways, the president has dug himself in a hole on
this, whether he can get out in 2018 is going to be one of the biggest questions we'll be watching. >> that's a question we all want answered. all right, michael, thank you so much for joining us. >> sure, any time. as americans prepare to ring in the new year, many may be looking to next november. next, predictions on whether there will be a gathering storm if 20 on for republicans. -- 2018 for republicans. ♪ prices of the season' on the only bed that adjusts on both sides to your
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. >> an op ed by joe scarborough the host of msnbc is sounding the bell for 2018. he write, a storm is gathering, and there is every reason to believe that 2018 will be the most controversial year of our lives. let's bring in our panel, rick, what are your predictions for 2018? >> well, obviously, the mueller investigation, whether it produces something that leads to donald trump being compromised would certainly be a huge story,
even if it leads to nothing, that will be a huge story that the republicans will may hay out of so i would looing to 2018 and the mueller investigation, i think democrats will take control of at least the house. >> that will be a big tore in 2018. >> zerlina, your thoughts. >> the house, there are only 24 seats that hillary won now held by republicans, so there are lot of possibilities there. i would also say that 20 on is the year of the women 2.0 just like after anita hill in 1991, 1992 was the year of the women, where more women were elected to congress than ever before. i think that will result as the presidency of donald y. trump. >> joe, think back to what it has brought us, what would you say is the worst moment of 2017, politically speak something. >> the worst moment is in charlottesville, virginia when the white nationalists and kk and nazis got together and held a protest in that beautiful town
and one very courageous woman lost her life protesting against the nazis and the skinheads. that was probably the worst moment for me of 2017 the saddest moments for me. >> important not to forget about that. rick, what do you consider that worst political moment? >> let me brond it out a bit. i think as a calm person the worst moments come from the white house briefing room and the communications strategy overall. the white house has been inconsistent, contradictory, mostly incoherent, stepping on their message. i know they don't have a lot of to work with in the president's tweets, his being divisive doesn't help, but i think the coms operation has been the worst moment, stating with sean spicer's first press briefing, he took no questions and insisting the crowds were the largest in history. >> none of us will forget that. we want to ends on a positive
note. what would you say? >> the women's march, january 21st, millions of women all over the world, protesting, set the stage for what i think is now that we are seeing a national reck reckoning around sexual harassment and assault. this is all connected. women are speaking out, speaking umm. i think that will continue in 20 on. it's definitely the women's march was the best moment of 2017. >> zerlina, rick, joe, thank you for joining us, happy to have you here, happy new year to all three of you. the spectre of potentially more russian interference over the mid-terms. what can be done to prevent russia from meddling with the 2018 election. coming up, i will speak with an insider who was once stationed in moscow. with the one-two kick of ro*tel's diced tomatoes and spicy green chilies. then, find space for extra parking. lots and lots of parking.
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